As I Watch My Children Sleep
Updated: Aug 30, 2022
7:30 this morning. My husband I are having coffee when he reads the news. A gunman opened fire at one of our local grocery stores at 7pm last night.
Living in America is a strange feeling these days. You know these things happen daily. You know it's only a matter of time before they make their way to your town, to your neighborhood, to your schools. And there I was, drinking my coffee, processing what it feels like to hear about a shooting at the store you nearly went to yesterday.
First, I went numb. I finished my coffee and couldn't feel much. Then, my thoughts filtered in. Thank goodness it wasn't a school. That gave me solace. Only two people died. That gave me a bit of relief.
Then, the anger set in.
I have to talk with my six and eight-year-old when they wake up about a shooter at a grocery store in our town. My eight-year-old has already told me she's afraid to go to school because of what happened to the kids in Uvalde. I watch them sleep and want to hold them here with me forever.
I started reading articles about workers hiding in refrigerators and shoppers running out of the store screaming. I read about a man who was shopping with his four kids while it happened. I think of the trauma those kids will feel for years to come. And I watch my kids sleep.
As I sit here to write this, I feel sick and very, very angry. What kept me from falling into despair? That it wasn't a school and only two people died. How messed up is that? Those two people have families and lives that were forever altered by some maniac. Every person at that store will have emotional scars forever. But our society will have us believe that it could always be worse.
It could also be better.
As I watch my children sleep, I wonder what future they will have. What our country will look like when they are my age. If they will make it to my age. And that thought fills me with more rage. America is dangerous. There is no home safe enough and no town rich enough to protect us from what eats us from the inside. And no one tries to stop it.
We resisting change. I've never understood that about America. We're terrified to try. Terrified we will infringe on someone's rights. Terrified to look outside our politics and find an answer.
Evil hit home today, as I always knew it would. So I watch my kids sleep and sit in the deep fear and anger and sadness because it's the only thing I can do. And beyond all reason, I hope that America will finally find the will to make change.
Because if we don't, what will we have left?